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The service, designed to meet the needs of businesses affected by the current economic conditions, was launched in the Pre-Budget Report.

It aims to give businesses a fast and streamlined service for arranging to pay their HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tax bill to a timetable they can afford. Importantly, HMRC say they will offer further practical help by not imposing additional penalties or surcharges on the tax within a time-to-pay arrangement.

“Customer queries have ranged from seeking advice to requesting a time-to-pay arrangement which, in most cases, were agreed in around ten minutes, by speaking to an adviser over the phone,” said a spokesman.

Lesley Strathie, HMRC chief executive explained: “We are committed to supporting businesses experiencing temporary difficulties and understand that some businesses want to talk to us about the amount of time they need to pay their HMRC taxes.

“Our new Business Payment Support Service will make this easier and faster. Callers will get through to an HMRC officer who will listen and provide a solution tailored to specific circumstances.

“Business people who find that they need more time to pay will receive a sympathetic response,” he added.

Further information is available on the HMRC website at, which contains general advice about the support line, as well as other frequently asked questions. The support line – tel: 0845 302 1435 – is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends.